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richard III

reviews

This Son of York by Anne Easter Smith

This Son of York by Anne Easter Smith

“Now is the winter of our discontent, Made glorious summer by This Son of York…” — William Shakespeare, Richard III

Richard III was Anne’s muse for her first five books, but, finally, in This Son of York he becomes her protagonist. The story of this English king is one of history’s most compelling, made even more fascinating through the discovery in 2012 of his bones buried under a car park in Leicester.

This new portrait of England’s most controversial king is meticulously researched and brings to vivid life the troubled, complex Richard of Gloucester, who ruled for two years over an England tired of war and civil strife. The loyal and dutiful youngest son of York, Richard lived most of his short life in the shadow of his brother, Edward IV, loyally supporting his sibling until the mantle of power was thrust unexpectedly on him.

Some of his actions and motives were misunderstood by his enemies to have been a deliberate usurpation of the throne, but throughout his life, Richard never demonstrated any loftier ambitions than to honorably discharge his duty to his family and his country.

In a gentler vein, despite the cruel onset of severe scoliosis in his teens, Richard did find love, first with a lover and then in his marriage to Anne Neville. Between these two devoted women in his life, he sired three and perhaps four children.

Bringing the Plantagenet dynasty to a violent end, Richard was the last king of England to die in battle. This Son of York is a faithful chronicle of this much maligned man.

The book is told from Richard’s point of view and covers his life from childhood to his death.

This was the first book I’ve read from the author, even though I own a couple. Overall, I liked the book, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the characterization of Richard. He just came off as whiny and without backbone and it grew old very soon. I like Richard III but too often he’s described either just too good or either very bad like a Disney character or something. I like something in the between.

Every chapter starts with a quote from Philippa Langley, who was present during the whole research process for Richard’s bones. I found those quotes unnecessary, but I seem to be in minority with this so…

All this being said, I did enjoy the book even if it may sound like I didn’t. It also made me realize that I haven’t read a book about Richard for so long.

3/5

Published: Bellastoria Press (November 10, 2019)
Format: ebook
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

About the Author

Anne is the award-winning author of The King’s Grace and the best-selling A Rose for the Crown, Daughter of York, Queen By Right, and Royal Mistress. She is an expert on Richard III, having studied the king and his times for decades. Her sixth book, This Son of York, will be published soon. She grew up in England, Germany and Egypt, and has been a resident/citizen of the US since 1968. Anne was the Features Editor at a daily newspaper in northern New York State for ten years, and her writing has been published in several national magazines.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Sunday, November 10
Review at Broken Teepee
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Monday, November 11
Excerpt at Words and Peace
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Tuesday, November 12
Review at Passages to the Past
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Wednesday, November 13
Review at Macsbooks
Interview at The Writing Desk

Thursday, November 14
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Friday, November 15
Excerpt at The Lit Bitch
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Saturday, November 16
Review at Curling up by the Fire
Review & Excerpt at Nursebookie
Review at Red Headed Book Lady
Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Sunday, November 17
Review at Bookramblings
Review at Just One More Chapter
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books
Review at Carole Rae’s Random Ramblings

reviews

The Killing of Richard III by Robert Farrington

The Killing of Richard III by Robert Farrington

1483: King Edward IV dies, leaving two innocent young princes in line to the throne. But when scandal and conspiracy explodes around their claim, Richard of Gloucester is proclaimed king. Shortly after, the princes vanish, and storm clouds begin to gather around the newly crowned King Richard III.

Fighter, philanderer and royal spy Henry Morane is tasked with investigating the princes’ disappearance, the attempted kidnap of the exiled Lancastrian leader Henry Tudor and the hunting out of traitors amid Richard’s supporters.

And at the bloody battle of Bosworth Field, King Richard and Henry Morane will face a fatal trial that will dictate the path of history. (back cover)

When Henry Morane, chief clerk to the King’s Secretary, finds out he’s mistress is also William Stanley’s mistress, he’s in for a trouble. Even more so when Alice slips information about rebellion that is going to happen. After attempted murder the king sends him to Brittany to capture Henry Tudor. He fails but will notice he’s life is intervened with the king.

The book started little slow and at first I was wondering where this was leading but it picked up towards the end.

I liked Morane and his humour and I was interested to see what will happen to him. He fought at Tewkesbury and remained loyal to the Yorkist cause and to Richard III during everything that happened.
After Stanley’s men tried to kill him, he was found and saved by woman named Matilda. I wasn’t huge fan of Matilda by herself and she was little annoying but I loved to see Matilda and Morane together. Their relationship and bickering was so much fun to read. Matilda could use a knife and kill but would suddenly just cry and sob and at times I just wanted to shake her. But she wouldn’t do anything just because Morane told her to and I liked her for it.

I liked how Richard III was portrayed but it took some getting used to how Francis Lovell was. He wasn’t evil but not exactly likeable either. I found it odd how everyone was calling the king as Dickon. Not to his face but when talking someone they kept calling him Dickon. I can be wrong but I didn’t think calling someone by nickname was that common back then?
I thought the idea that Elizabeth Woodville and Jane Shore were in good terms was interesting one.

“They were on good terms, those two, the Queen and the royal mistress, although they rarely lost the opportunity of sinking their barbs into each other.”
Pg. 1

I’ve never come across that anyone has suggested that but it was an interesting notion.

The book ends just after the battle of Bosworth Field where also Henry Morane fought and trying not to tell too much but I thought the book stopped too soon after the battle.

3.5/5

Published: Sphere (2013)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 401
Source: publisher

reviews

The White Boar by Marian Palmer

The White Boar by Marian Palmer

Richard III, last of the Plantagenet Kings, could condemn the author of that crude doggerel to a traitor’s death but he could not stem the inevitable tide of history. Richard’s emblem, the white boar, commanded the loyalty of able men like Lords Catesby (the Cat) and Ratliff (the Rat), and Francis Lovell (our Dog). It could not withstand the onslaught of the Tudor rose.

The White Boar is a dramatic historical novel that vividly recreates the life and times of England’s controversial King Richard III. Shakespeare portrayed him as evil incarnate, a hunchback who gained the throne by murdering his two nephews. Conversely, many historians argue that he was an innocent scapegoat and might have been one of history’s great monarchs had his reign not been so tragically short.

In this novel one issue concerning Richard’s life is never in doubt – that he held the unfaltering devotion of two extraordinary men, Phillip and Francis Lovell. And it is through their eyes that the reader of this remarkable book sees the last Plantagenet – the man and the King.

Marian Palmer presents a striking chronicle of England in the last half of the fifteenth century: the pomp and pageantry of the royal court; the treason and the intrigue which were the death of the Plantagenet dynasty; and the bitter struggle between the Yorkists and the Lancastrians that was the War of the Roses.

The author does not offer a solution to the riddle of Richard III; rather she presents him as he might have appeared in his own lifetime to the two men who were, above all else, his friends. The character which emerges is as unforgettable as Shakespeare’s misshapen monster. (Goodreads)

The story is told by the Lovell cousins Philip (pretty sure he’s fictional) and Francis. Francis is given is wardship to Warwick and goes to Middleham. There he meets Philip after long time and for the first time sees Richard, Duke of Gloucester. There’s lot more going on but I don’t even try to tell it. Wikipedia is your friend.

I did enjoy this but it was bit dry on points and some of the phraisings does show the book’s age. But I liked how the characters were described, especially Richard. He was neither too good or too bad. I loved how Anne Neville’s rescue was portrayed.

It was nice to read that Francis and his wife Anna had their happy moments. They are always portrayed hating each other and while this either didn’t end happily there was some good too.

4/5
Published: Hodder & Stoughton (1969)
Format: hardrback
Pages: 374
Source: my own